• Sakonsa Organisation

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in India : A need for action

The term "Sanitation" reflects general health conditions related to many activities such as clean drinking water and its adequate treatment and disposal of human excreta and sewage systems. The primary task of improving hygiene practice in India is to prevent contact feces with humans. The sanitation system's main objective is to protect human health by motivating them to live in a clean environment that will put a stop on the transmission of diseases, primarily through the route of fecal to oral.

Poor sanitation is prone to the transmission of various harmful diseases such as diarrhea, hepatitis A, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, and exacerbates stunting. It also reduces human well-being and economic and social development due to impacts like anxiety, risk of sexual assault, and lost educational opportunities. The adverse effect of open defecation is on the environment leads to soil and water pollution. In human beings, from open defecation, foul smell produced that causes inconvenience and respiratory disorders. Poor sanitation also results in economic losses.

In India, many people defecate openly on the regular basis. Out of the 1.2 billion occupants, 103 million people lack safe drinking water, and around 802 million lack proper sanitation services. In India's rural part, defecation in the open is a huge problem; to some extent, it has been reduced, but it is not entirely vanished. According to the survey done by India's government, 1 in every ten deaths in India is due to a lack of proper sanitation facilities. Children's education is greatly affected by the impact of poor sanitation, especially the girl child due to the absence of toilets facility in their schools; they are often forced by their family to miss school.

Major causes of poor sanitation include the following mentioned below:-

  • Inadequate Water Provisions:- Due to the crisis of water in various parts of the country, to meet the demand of water, they consume unhygienic water that contains waterborne disease, which is very harmful to their health.

  • Poverty:- we can consider poverty one of the main reasons for poor sanitation as they lack basics human needs, especially service provision.

  • Inadequate Planning:- In urban areas population increasing every day, which emphasizes more pressure on management to provide each resident every facility but due to expensive housing, transport system, and sanitation leads to the creation of small slums across all over the country which lacking proper drainage system and sewage system resulted into water contamination which serves as a breeding site for flies and mosquitoes.

  • Poor Governance: local government plays a vital role in developing urban areas, but in developing countries, they lack behind to fulfill their role and responsibilities. There is a need to be hastened up by the support of developing fiscal reforms and find some innovative means for increasing the financial resources.

Steps to overcome the problem of poor sanitation and hygiene:-

  • Campaigns should be conducted regularly on this social cause to educate people, predominantly illiterate and impoverished people.

  • Media can play a vital role in encouraging people to practice good hygiene.

  • Donation towards the betterment of society.

  • The government should be questioned.

  • Taking responsibility for human welfare and the environment.

  • Access to adequate sanitation symbolize crossing the most critical barrier to a life of dignity and fulfillment of basic needs.

Some advantages of improving sanitation include decreasing the impact of malnutrition, reducing the transmission of intestinal worms cause harmful health diseases, promoting girl child school attendance, and boosting women's confidence and increasing their dignity by providing separate sanitary facilities to them. One significant effect of improving sanitation will be on recovery on renewable energy and water from fecal waste.

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